Mahindra and Mahindra brand is known for its mettle in SUV world. The Indian manufacturer started with the Jeep and today it a leader in market share in the SUV segment and also, has a Korean SUV brand – SsangYong under its umbrella. Now Mahindra has tried entering different segments in the market and didn’t leave the impression that it left with its SUVs. A brilliant idea emerged in the brilliant minds of the Mahindra designers to fuse the looks of an SUV to a hatchback and the result became the Kool Utility Vehicle or KUV 100. Let’s find out how really Kool is the KUV100.
The KUV100 looks very odd at the first glance, the tall short hatchback that is trying to look like an SUV does not goes well for KUV. But the looks do grow on you. The KUV100 looks strong, it has creases all around the body along with black cladding to augment the SUV character. The black-front bumper adds to the rugged looks while the sunglass-inspired headlamps with Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) in the higher variant do make the car very different in its segment. The KUV sits 170mm above ground while the total height of 1,665 mm makes the vehicle very tall, the 14-inch alloy wheels look bit small on the KUV though. In the rear, strong waistline ending above both the tail lamps keeps the section busy. You will have to spend some time with the car to notice the good bits of the vehicle, ignoring the odd shape.
KUV continues its radical design on the inside too, the car has an optional six-seat variant with a bench seat in front. The gear lever comes out of the dashboard but the whole system is pretty neatly stacked. There are big controls for AC settings, a small infotainment system and an unconventional handbrake on the centre dashboard. The black and white LCD on the infotainment shows you various information like Distance to Empty. The steering itself is nice to hold and has dedicated control buttons on it. The driver console reads out vital statistics about the car like speed, tachometer on analogue dials and a small digital screen that shows gear position, engine temperature, fuel level and odometer. KUV is quite spacious in its segment and seats the supportive too.
Engine and Drive
The car is powered by an all-new family of engines called mFalcon. This the first family of engines to incorporate petrol engine. The three-cylinder engines are of 1198cc and develops 77 BHP in diesel and 82 bhp in petrol. Both are mated to 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel engine returns 20.81 km/l while the petrol one returns 19.2 km/l as per ARAI testing.
It is a car built on monocoque chassis, making it lightweight and also adding strength to the vehicle. The car is fun to drive and suspensions are set-up for medium stiffness. There is bit of body roll because of tall height but nothing goes out of control.
Should I but one?
If you’re in market and looking for something different than the regular hatchbacks, then definitely yes. The car is targeted at the youths and sure is designed to attract them too. With starting price of Rs. 4.42 lakh for petrol and Rs. 5.22 lakh for diesel, the KUV offers a lot of equipment in economical way like all other Mahindra products. The quality of the interior is good too. No wonder KUV100 has been selling so much since its launch, it looks good, has a punchy engine and offers most unique looks in its segment.